nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2014‒11‒07
twenty-two papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Frank Ramsey By Pedro Garcia Duarte
  2. Implications of different understandings of financial crises for divergent conclusions on the connections between finance and sustainability By Alessandro Vercelli
  3. The core of games on ordered structures and graphs By Michel Grabisch
  4. Bayes Correlated Equilibrium and the Comparison of Information Structures in Games By Dirk Bergemann; Stephen Morris
  5. Friedrich Hayek and His Visits to Chile By Bruce Caldwell; Leonidas Montes
  6. The Genealogy of the Labor Hoarding Concept By Jeff E. Biddle
  7. Risparmio dei lavoratori e contrattazione in un modello di capitalismo come gioco differenziale By G. Gozzi
  8. A Tale of Two Tails: Preferences of neutral third-parties in three-player ultimatum games By Ciril Bosch-Rosa; ; ;
  9. Capital, richesse et croissance: de la recherche empirique aux éclairages théoriques By Jean-Luc Gaffard
  10. Did Science Cause the Industrial Revolution? By O Grada, Cormac
  11. Whom are you talking with? An experiment on credibility and communication structure By Gilles Grandjean; Marco Mantovani; Ana Mauleon; Vincent Vannetelbosch
  12. Leadership in the Prisoner's Dilemma with Inequity-Averse Preferences By Koji Abey; Hajime Kobayashi; Hideo Suehiro
  13. Can economic opportunity flourish when communities do not? By Rosengren, Eric S.
  14. Is mathematics able to give insight into current questions in finance, economics and politics? By Larry Shepp; Michael Imerman
  15. Growth and Inequality in Public Good Games By Simon Gaechter; Friederike Mengel; Elias Tsakas; Alexander Vostroknutov
  16. Transition to Modern Growth: the Role of Technological Progress and Adult Mortality By Davide Fiaschi; Tamara Fioroni
  17. Global issues, local solutions: rethinking wealth and health through the lens of social enteprise By Donaldson, Cam; Roy, Michael; Hill-O'Connor, Clementine; Biosca, Olga; Baker, Rachel; Kay, Alan; Gillespie, Morag; Godwin, Jon; Morgan, Antony; Skelton, Dawn A; Stewart, John; Anderson, Isobel; Docherty, Catherine; Fulford, Heather; Munoz, Sarah-Anne; Teasdale, Simon; Thomson, Hilary
  18. Consumption Decisions When People Value Conformity By Alistair Ulph; David Ulph
  19. Somebody may scold you! A dictator experiment By Agnès Festré; Garrouste Pierre
  20. La recepción de Wicksell en España (1930-1960) By Manuel Martín Rodríguez
  21. Publish or perish: the publication history of the Department of Economics 1963-2013 By Karl Gunnar Persson
  22. De la finance éthique à l'éthique dans la finance By Michel LELART

  1. By: Pedro Garcia Duarte
    Abstract: Frank P. Ramsey (b. 1903 – d. 1930) was a Cambridge mathematician who interacted closely to leading economists of his time such as Arthur Cecil Pigou, John Maynard Keynes and Roy Harrod. In the 1920s he was considered by many as a brilliant student who was clearly integrated to the elite group of Cambridge and who knew and was friend of such luminaries as G. E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and also Lytton and James Strachey, Virginia Woolf, Lionel Penrose, Kingsley Martin, Richard Braithwaite, I. A. Richards, and C. K. Ogden. Despite being few in numbers, his contributions to mathematics, logic, philosophy and economics are considered by practitioners in these areas as the most profound and original work in the first half of the twentieth century. This canonization was initiated soon after the untimely death of Ramsey, before completing 27 years of age. Economists portray Ramsey as a sleeping giant, someone with almost no impact until the 1950s, when they finally learned the mathematical tools necessary to apprehend his ideas. Building on my previous works on Ramsey this article surveys his life and work, focusing on economics, and shows how this provides interesting historical windows both to the Cambridge milieu of the 1920s and to the important transformations of economics after World War II.
    Keywords: Frank Ramsey; University of Cambridge; Arthur Cecil Pigou; John Maynard Keynes; Paul Samuelson
    JEL: B31 B22 B16 B23
    Date: 2014–10–06
  2. By: Alessandro Vercelli (University of Siena)
    Abstract: The reasons and implications of different understandings of the ongoing financial crisis may be thoroughly assessed by starting the investigation from a taxonomy of the competing visions of the capitalist system and of the approach required to understand it. This paper focuses in particular on the nexus between money/credit/finance (from now on “money”) on one side and the real economy on the other side and is articulated in a sequence of sections grouped in three parts. The first part sketches the historical and conceptual path that leads from the early reflections on money to the recent insights on financialisation, stressing only the basic conceptual options and their implications. The analysis starts from the quantitative aspects of money that have been since long a crucial object of political economy, then economics and finally macroeconomics. Section 2 I sketches a bird’s eye view of the mainstream approach from Hume to Woodford; then section 3 outlines the parallel evolution of the heterodox point of view from Marx to Minsky. Section 4 discusses the main views of orthodox and heterodox economists on money as structure. Section 5 investigates why the different paradigms mentioned above lead to different understandings of the meaning and role of financialisation. The second part sketches the conceptual path that leads from the early reflections on economic crises to different understandings of the great crises and to contrasting views on the sustainability of the economic system. Section 6 I discusses the foundations and implications of different views on business-cycle crises while section 7 I considers the main approaches to the understanding and control of great crises. Finally section 8 examines the concepts of sustainability associated to the paradigms analysed above. The third part investigates the interaction between financialisation and sustainability from the synchronic point of view (section 9), and then from the diachronic point of view (section 10), focusing on their broad policy implications. Section 11 concludes.
    Keywords: financial crises, financialisation, sustainability
    JEL: B10 B20 B E32 E44 G10 G20 Q01
  3. By: Michel Grabisch (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: In cooperative games, the core is the most popular solution concept, and its properties are well known. In the classical setting of cooperative games, it is generally assumed that all coalitions can form, i.e., they are all feasible. In many situations, this assumption is too strong and one has to deal with some unfeasible coalitions. Defining a game on a subcollection of the power set of the set of players has many implications on the mathematical structure of the core, depending on the precise structure of the subcollection of feasible coalitions. Many authors have contributed to this topic, and we give a unified view of these different results.
    Keywords: TU-game; Solution concept; Core; Feasible coalition; Communication graph; Partially ordered set
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Dirk Bergemann (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Stephen Morris (Dept. of Economics, Princeton University)
    Abstract: The set of outcomes that can arise in Bayes Nash equilibria of an incomplete information game where players may have access to additional signals beyond the given information structure is equivalent to the set of a version of incomplete information correlated equilibrium which we dub Bayes correlated equilibrium. A game of incomplete information can be decomposed into a basic game, given by actions sets and payoff functions, and an information structure. We identify a partial order on many player information structures (individual sufficiency) under which more information shrinks the set of Bayes correlated equilibria.
    Keywords: Correlated equilibrium, Incomplete information, Robust predictions, Information structure, Sufficiency, Blackwell ordering
    JEL: C72 D82 D83
    Date: 2013–09
  5. By: Bruce Caldwell; Leonidas Montes
    Abstract: F. A. Hayek took two trips to Chile, the first in 1977, the second in 1981. The visits were controversial. On the first trip he met with Genera l Augusto Pinochet, who had led a coup that overthrew Salvador Allende in 1973. During his 1981 visit, Ha yek gave interviews that were published in the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio and in which he discussed authoritarian regimes and the problem of unlimited democracy. After each trip, he complained th at the western press had painted an unfair picture of the economic situation under the Pinochet regime. Drawing on archival material, interviews, and past research, we provide a full account of this controversial episode in Hayek's life.
    Keywords: F. A. Hayek, Chile, Chicago Boys, Augusto Pinochet, Salvador Allende, Milton Friedman, Centro de Estudios Publicos (CEP), El Mercurio
    JEL: B1 B2 B25 B21 B3 B4
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Jeff E. Biddle
    Abstract: The modern concept of labor hoarding emerged in early 1960s, and soon became a standard part of mainstream economists’ explan ation of the working of labor markets. The concept represents the convergence of three importa nt elements: an empirical fi nding that labor productivity was procyclical; a framing of this fi nding as a “puzzle” or anomaly fo r the basic neoclassical theory of the firm, and a proposed resolu tion of the puzzle based on optimizing behavior of the firm in the presence of costs of hiring, firing, and training workers. Th is paper recounts the history of each of these elements, and how they were woven together into the labor hoarding concept. Each history involves people associated with various research traditions and motivated by an array of questions, many of which were unrelated to the qu estions that the modern labor hoarding concept was ultimately created to address.
    Keywords: labor hoarding, productivity, business cycles
    JEL: B2
    Date: 2014
  7. By: G. Gozzi
    Abstract: In his paper of 1984 M. Pohjola generalized Lancaster’s model of capitalism as a differential game by considering the bargaining process between capitalists and workers in the analysis of the relationship between income distribution and capital accumulation. Our contribution aims to extend his model by introducing the possibility of saving for the workers and its consequences on the noncooperative equilibrium of the correspondin differential game.
    JEL: C73 E10 O41
    Date: 2014–10
  8. By: Ciril Bosch-Rosa; ; ;
    Abstract: We present a three-player game in which a proposer makes a suggestion on how to split $10 with a passive responder. The oer is accepted or rejected depending on the strategy prole of a neutral third-party whose payos are independent from his decisions. If the oer is accepted the split takes place as suggested, if rejected, then both proposer and receiver get $0. Our results show a decision-maker whose main concern is to reduce the inequality between proposer and responder and who, in order to do so, is willing to reject both selsh and generous oers.This pattern of rejections is robust through a series of treatments which include changing the at-fee payo of the decision-maker, introducing a monetary cost for the decision-maker in case the oer ends up in a rejection, or letting a computer replace the proposer to randomly make the splitting suggestion between proposer and responder. Further, through these dierent treatments we are able to show that decision- makers ignore the intentions behind the proposers suggestions, as well as ignoring their own relative payos, two surprising results given the existing literature.
    Keywords: Ultimatum game, experiment, fairness, third party
    JEL: C92 D71 D63 D31
    Date: 2014–10
  9. By: Jean-Luc Gaffard (OFCE Sciences Po; University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France; Skema Business School)
    Abstract: The book of Thomas Piketty "Capital in the XXI Century" is ambivalent. On one hand, too simple theoretical reading, basically a-institutional, considers the growth rate as exogenous, and ignores the heterogeneity of capital, making the distribution of income and wealth a technical data without reverse influence on growth itself. On the other hand, the gathered stylized facts, and insights associated incite to the reflection on the ins and outs of the distribution of income and wealth in the perspective of giving it a central place in economic theory and to restore its social dimension.
    Keywords: capital, distribution, growth, rent, wealth
    JEL: D30 H20 O40
    Date: 2014–10
  10. By: O Grada, Cormac (University College Dublin)
    Keywords: economic history, science, human capital
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Gilles Grandjean; Marco Mantovani; Ana Mauleon; Vincent Vannetelbosch
    Abstract: The paper analyzes the role of the structure of communication - i.e. who is talking with whom - on the choice of messages, on their credibility and on actual play. We run an experiment in a three-player coordination game with Pareto ranked equilibria, where a pair of agents has a profitable joint deviation from the Pareto-dominant equilibrium. According to our analysis of credibility, the subjects should communicate and play the Pareto optimal equilibrium only when communication is public. When pairs of agents exchange messages privately, the players should play the Pareto dominated equilibrium and disregard communication. The experimental data conform to our predictions: the agents reach the Pareto-dominant equilibrium only when announcing to play it is credible. When private communication is allowed, lying is prevalent, and players converge to the Pareto-dominated equilibrium. Nevertheless, at the individual level, players’ beliefs and choices tend to react to messages even when these are non-credible.
    Keywords: cheap talk, coordination, coalitions, experiment
    JEL: C72 C91 D03 D83
    Date: 2014–10
  12. By: Koji Abey (Faculty of International Social Sciences, Yokohama National University); Hajime Kobayashi (Faculty of Economics, Kansai University); Hideo Suehiro (Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University)
    Abstract: We consider the economic consequences of fairness concerns under the freedom to choose the timing of moves by developing a new economic theory of leadership. We study the prisoner' s dilemma in which players are endowed with Fehr and Schmidt preferences with inequity aversion as their private information and then choose cooperation or defection once at one of two timings that they prefer. In this model, we consider an equilibrium in which a leader-follower relationship endogenously emerges as a consequence of players' heterogeneous inequity aversions. We present three results. First, we provide a sufficient condition for the existence of a leadership equilibrium. Then, we present a comparative statics analysis of the equilibrium. Finally, we investigate who takes the leadership, depending on the game parameters. We provide a characterization of the equilibrium leadership patterns. These results also hold when agents can choose the timing of moves from more than two timings.
    Keywords: Leadership, Endogenous Timing, Prisoner' s Dilemma, Inequity Aversion
    JEL: C72 D03 D82
    Date: 2014–05
  13. By: Rosengren, Eric S. (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
    Abstract: Conference address by Eric S. Rosengren, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's 58th Economic Conference, Inequality of Economic Opportunity, Boston, Massachusetts, October 18, 2014.
    Date: 2014–10–18
  14. By: Larry Shepp; Michael Imerman
    Abstract: Democrats in the US say that taxes can be used to "grease the wheels" of the economy and create wealth enough to recover taxes and thereby increase employment; the Republicans say that taxation discourages investment and so increases unemployment. These arguments cannot both be correct, but both arguments seem meritorious. Faced with this paradox, one might hope that a rigorous mathematical approach might help determine which is the truth.
    Date: 2014–10
  15. By: Simon Gaechter (School of Economics, University of Nottingham); Friederike Mengel (University of Essex and Maastricht University); Elias Tsakas (Maastricht University); Alexander Vostroknutov (Maastricht University and European University at St.Petersburg)
    Abstract: In a novel experimental design we study public good games with dynamic interdependencies. More precisely, each agent's income at the end of a period serves as her endowment in the following period. In this setting growth and inequality arise endogenously allowing us to address new questions regarding their interplay and effect on cooperation levels. In stark contrast to standard public good experiments, we find that contributions are increasing over time even in the absence of punishment possibilities. In both treatments (with and w/o punishment) inequality and group income are positively correlated for poor groups (below median income), but negatively correlated for rich groups. There is very strong path dependence: inequality in early periods is strongly negatively correlated with group income in later periods. These results give new insights into why people cooperate and should make us rethink previous results from the literature on repeated public good games regarding the decay of cooperation in the absence of punishment.
  16. By: Davide Fiaschi; Tamara Fioroni
    Abstract: This paper presents a model inspired by the Unified Growth Theory, where reductions in adult mortality together with improvements in technological progress are the deep causes of the transition from a Traditional (Malthusian) Regime to a Pre-Modern Regime, characterized by the accumulation of fixed capital only, and finally, to a Modern Regime, characterized by the joint accumulation of both fixed and human capital. A calibrated version of the model is able to reproduce the dynamics of the UK economy in the period 1541-1914, matching both the periods of transition and the pattern of main macroeconomic variables. UK growth before the mid-nineteen th century ap- pears to be mainly due to technological progress, while thereafter, the decline in adult mortality and factors accumulation played the major role. Finally, fertility decline during the nineteenth century has only a marginal impact on growth because it is more than balanced by the increase in adult survival.
    Keywords: Unified Growth Theory, Human Capital, Adult mortality, Nonlinear Dynamics, Endogenous Fertility, Industrial Revolution.
    JEL: O10 O40 I20
    Date: 2014–09–01
  17. By: Donaldson, Cam (Yunus Centre for Social Business & Health, Glasgow Caledonian University); Roy, Michael (Yunus Centre for Social Business & Health, Glasgow School for Business & Society, Glasgow Caledonian University); Hill-O'Connor, Clementine (Yunus Centre for Social Business & Health, Glasgow School for Business & Society, Glasgow Caledonian University); Biosca, Olga (Yunus Centre for Social Business & Health, Glasgow School for Business & Society, Glasgow Caledonian University); Baker, Rachel (Yunus Centre for Social Business & Health, Glasgow Caledonian University); Kay, Alan (Yunus Centre for Social Business & Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scottish Social Enterprise Academy); Gillespie, Morag (Scottish Poverty Information Unit, Glasgow Caledonian University); Godwin, Jon (Institute for Applied Health Research, Glasgow Caledonian University); Morgan, Antony (School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University); Skelton, Dawn A (Institute for Applied Health Research, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University); Stewart, John (Glasgow School for Business & Society, Glasgow Caledonian University); Anderson, Isobel (School of Applied Social Science, University of Stirling); Docherty, Catherine (Institute for Design Innovation, Glasgow School of Art); Fulford, Heather (Centre for Entrepreneurship, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University); Munoz, Sarah-Anne (Centre for Rural Health, University of the Highlands and Islands); Teasdale, Simon (Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham); Thomson, Hilary (Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow)
    Abstract: The Yunus Centre for Social Business & Health was opened by Nobel Peace Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus, in June 2010. In short, the Centre aims to build a research portfolio in the broad area of "social business as a public health intervention", thus working on the cutting edges of (and interfaces between) public health research, social science and research applied to the "Third Sector"‟. Staff and PhD students come from disciplines such as mainstream economics, health economics, sociology and social policy, anthropology, international finance, development and politics. A central part of the Centre's work involves researching the impact of Professor Yunus' ideas, particularly in the context of disadvantaged communities in advanced economies. In this respect, two main programmes of work are being pursued: - "microcredit, health and wellbeing"; and - "social enterprise3, health and wellbeing". In this paper, we discuss the Centre's planned research programme in the latter area, although many issues (e.g. of study design and measurement) cut across the two. What is described here is a programme that has been put together by a group of people from the social enterprise sector and from various disciplines (statistics, history, geography, public health, art and design, in addition to those mentioned above) and subject areas (active ageing, homelessness, entrepreneurship, Third Sector) within Universities, across Scotland. The importance of placing this proposed research in a health economics working paper series is that (a) it has been funded by the UK's Medical research Council and Economic & Social Research Council to the tune of £1.96m, and (b) although many of the arguments are well-rehearsed in other fields, it would be portrayed as offering a new branch of health economics. Given that the research programme has just commenced, it seemed worthwhile to submit the basics of the research proposed to the scrutiny of our health economics colleagues. The originality of this research programme is a product of the range of interests and fields of expertise represented in this collective, hopefully creating a new scientific and research interface, that of "social enterprise as a public health and wellbeing intervention". What this then offers each part of the collaboration is as follows: - for social enterprise, we offer a new way of thinking about how this sector views itself and measures success; - for public health science and practice, we propose a genuine "upstream" route to health creation amongst the most deprived communities; and - for economics and other social sciences, coalescing around a grand "cost-benefit analysis" of the impact of social enterprise on poverty, isolation, ill-health and well-being will offer new and enduring frameworks for evaluating future activities, not only of this nature but also, hopefully, more broadly in the Third and Public Sectors.
    Keywords: 2014-08
    Date: 2014–08
  18. By: Alistair Ulph (University of Manchester); David Ulph (University of St Andrews)
    Abstract: In this paper we assume that for some commodities individuals may wish to adjust their levels of consumption from their normal Marshallian levels so as to match the consumption levels of a group of other individuals, in order to signal that they conform to the consumption norms of that group. Unlike Veblen’s concept of conspicuous consumption this can mean that some individuals may reduce their consumption of the relevant commodities. We model this as a three-stage game in which individuals first decide whether or not they wish to adhere to a norm, then decide which norm they wish to adhere to, and finally decide their actual consumption. We present a number of examples of the resulting equilibria, and then discuss the potential policy implications of this model.
    Keywords: strength of adherence to norms, desire for conformity, norm-consistent consumption interval, participation-consistent consumption interval, Nash equilibrium of three-stage game
    JEL: D11 D69
    Date: 2014–10–01
  19. By: Agnès Festré (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR7321 - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS)); Garrouste Pierre (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR7321 - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS))
    Abstract: In this contribution, we investigate the effects of observation-only and observation with feedback from a third-party, in a one-shot dictator game (DG). In addition to a baseline condition (DG), a third-party anonymous subject is introduced who either silently observes or observes and gives feedback by choosing one of seven messages consisting of varying degrees of (dis)satisfaction. We found that observation coupled with feedback significantly increases dictators' propositions, while no significant effect is found for observation-only. We conclude that regard by others matters only if it is linked to social factors such as communication. This complements the literature that argues that altruistic behavior is instrumental in serving other selfish (or non-purely altruistic) ends such as self-reputation or social approval. This experiment contributes to the growing literature aimed at decreasing the artificiality of DG designs, by increasing their practicability and external validity
    Keywords: social psychology; game theory; communication; beliefs; observation; altruistic behavior
    Date: 2015
  20. By: Manuel Martín Rodríguez (Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain)
    Abstract: En un trabajo de 1927, Schumpeter llamó a Wicksell (1851-1926) “el Marshall sueco” y dijo de él que “ningún otro de los arquitectos que han plantado los cimientos del análisis moderno tiene hoy día tanto que ofrecernos”. Pese a este juicio, y a que efectivamente hoy se le reconoce como uno de los grandes economistas de todos los tiempos, Wicksell fue poco conocido fuera de su país hasta que sus obras comenzaron a traducirse al inglés a partir de 1934. España no fue una excepción a este hecho, pero tampoco estuvo muy a la zaga, como sí ocurrió realmente con otros economistas importantes. En este trabajo se estudian las distintas vías de recepción en España de sus principales aportaciones analíticas a la ciencia económica así como su influencia sobre los economistas españoles en el periodo 1930-1963.
    Keywords: Palabras clave: Wicksell, España, pensamiento económico.
    JEL: B20 B30
    Date: 2014–10
  21. By: Karl Gunnar Persson (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University)
    Abstract: This paper addresses two issues. It documents the changes in the publication strategy of the members of the Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen over the last 50 years, away from a broad domestic audience to the international community of peers and scholars. From having been only occasionally present in the world of science the Department has increased its impact from the end of the 1980s.Exploiting data on the impact of journal articles the paper makes a tentative estimate of a spectacular increase in research labour productivity.
    JEL: A B
    Date: 2014–05–15
  22. By: Michel LELART
    Keywords: éthique, finance éthique, finance islamique, finance solidaire, microfinance, finance informelle
    Date: 2014

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